Midtown has been flooded with cops ever since the failed Times Square bombing, but rapes still rose 146 percent in the area last year, while felony assaults increased 14 percent in the area—from 274 in 2009 to 313 in 2010, according to the most recent crime stats. But don't worry, the NYPD is staying focused on the real threat to security: cyclists. Officers in the Midtown North precinct have issued 567 summonses to cyclists in the first five months of this year, more than any other precinct. Because, as one intrepid TV news reporter once put it, "Imagine if the man on the bike was a terrorist!"
Deputy Inspector Timothy Beaudette, who took over the Midtown North precinct last September, has made bicycle and other traffic crime a top priority. And though the NYPD hasn't foiled any cyclist terrorist plots (that we know of), a source tells the Post cops are ticketing cyclists who "are going the wrong way on the street, and they are on the sidewalk." Unless they're Robin Williams. Did you see Good Will Hunting? How could you ticket someone who's given us such a brave performance?
Lt. Evan Minogue, a community affairs officer at the Midtown North precinct, tells DNAinfo that since the failed bombing, "there has been an extraordinarily large amount of extra police officers working in Midtown, especially the Times Square area. These extra officers who are from precincts all over the city most likely account for the extra enforcement against quality of life offenses because there are simply more boots on the street and more eyes observing these offenses."
We're all for ticketing cyclists who ride on the sidewalk (or explode bombs) but can't all these NYPD boots multitask, and stomp out some more rapes and felonies, too? Well, it's complicated, says Dennis DeQuatro, the Commanding Officer of the Midtown South precinct. He tells DNAinfo that 85 percent of rapes within the Midtown South precinct are "acquaintance rapes," in which the victim and perpetrator knew each other prior to the attack—the implication being that such rapes are more difficult to police as they happen. But maybe cops would have better luck lowering this stat if they just imagine the man on a bike was a rapist.